Annapurna Woman Dr. Deb Kern

Portrait of the Annapurna Woman is an ongoing series featuring divine women who embody the nurturing spirit of Annapurna Living. Today we are honored to share health scientist and movement goddess, Dr. Deb Kern.
Dr. Deb Kern. Photo by  Shanti Matulewski.

Dr. Deb Kern. Photo by Shanti Matulewski.

How do you start your day?

I sleep on a mattress on the floor (by choice.) So I literally roll out of bed and onto my sheepskin rug into child’s pose. While in child’s pose, I deepen my breath and feel the feeling of being in this position. To me, it feels like I’m bowing to something. So I set the intention for what I am bowing to that day. Will I bow to fear or love? The answer has been love every day ... but for years I left myself out of the love equation. In other words, I would move through my day with love for others, but not myself. So recently, I have been bowing to self love. 

After child’s pose, I press up into my first downward dog of the day and allow my body to wriggle in the pose to release tension and open my back body. Then I walk forward and roll up, being aware of each chakra being activated. And I finish by sweeping my arms overhead and leaning back into a backbend to stretch and open my front body.

It takes longer to write all of that than to do it. :)

What do you do when you are overwhelmed or stressed?

It depends. My years of practice have given me powerful tools to deal with overwhelm and stress. So when I’m able to put space between the feeling of stress and the response to it, I choose from those tools. My #1 tool is to go for a walk in nature. Hands down, guaranteed to help me figure out something that is overwhelming me and to release or reduce stress. 

If I can’t go for a walk, I will dance or do yoga. And I’ll call a trusted friend. There’s nothing like a heart-to-heart with my soul friends!

Sometimes, however, I can’t manage to put enough space between the stress and my response and I fall into an old pattern of eating simple carbs to numb the stress. I’m not happy or proud about that. But it’s the truth. Just sayin’

What gives you the feeling of true bliss within?

Witnessing my son shine—whether it’s in sports or volunteering at the local food bank. When I see him expressing the light in his soul I am in bliss.

Also, teaching my dance class. “Teaching” isn’t really the accurate word, because when I’m leading class I’m literally allowing my body to be a conduit for the Divine. That is true bliss!

What are you currently reading?

  • By my bed: The Jeshua Channelings by Pamela Kribbe and Walking Home by Sonia Choquette
  • In my car (to take with me to whenever I have to wait for something): The MindBody Code by Dr. Mario Martinez
  • In my gym bag for sessions on the elliptical: Sacred Success by Barbara Stanny
  • By my favorite chair in the living room: Yoga Spandakarika by Daniel Odier
  • (I just finished the trilogy by Deborah Harkness)

What are you listening to right now?

Every Sunday: Rev. Michael Bernard Beckwith as I walk.

For music, that’s a hard one to answer, but I can say that my current obsession is music by Aykanna. I just can’t get enough!

What is your go-to simple recipe?

I finely chop zucchini, squash, onions, cauliflower and carrots and have them ready in a glass container to be made into either spaghetti sauce, omelets, soup or tacos. For example, I’ll take a jar of organic spaghetti sauce and add those veggies for a super easy, super healthy meal. Or I’ll brown some organic ground beef, add the veggies and add taco seasoning for super easy and healthy tacos. The trick is to already have those veggies prepped!

What are some simple things you do for self-care?

Epsom salt bath + lavender oil + candles. Every night. 

What does nourishment look like to you?

Someone taking care of a detail for me. It could be my son plugging my car in for me or my assistant keeping track of my travel arrangements for me or a neighbor calling to tell me I accidentally left my garage door open. 

How do you make space for play?

I schedule myself to teach dance classes. I figured this out about myself when I was in my 30’s: if I am not on the schedule to teach, I will work instead. And teaching my dance class is pure play, pure pleasure, pure healing, pure bliss.

What are some favorite mantras you cling to?

The Lord’s prayer in Aramaic every morning. It is the most precious and most meaningful prayer to me and I learned from Neil Douglas-Klotz how to sing each line as a mantra. 

Om gum ganapatayei namaha: I use this mantra often as a prayer to remove blocks within myself and in my life

The Mrityunjaya mantra on new and full moons.

Please share some words of wisdom you’ve learned as a direct result of soulful and embodied living.

I spent many decades believing that doing things for others at my own expense and to my own detriment was spiritual. I have learned that this is not true. That Jesus really meant it when he said “Love your neighbor as yourself”—and that I must always include myself in the love equation. This has been life altering.

About Dr. Deb Kern


Deb Kern, Ph.D. is a teacher of vision, a sought-after intuitive guide, health scientist, author and speaker. She has studied with medicine women in Costa Rica, shamans in Bali, and Ayurvedic masters from India to California. A former nurse, health educator and Ph.D. scientist, Deb conducted a groundbreaking study proving that mind/body integrated approaches to exercise were more effective at reducing anxiety than conventional approaches to exercise. Deb is also a yoga therapist, NIA black belt teacher, and creatrix of PranaShakti—a mind/body movement form—and Clear the Way, a detoxification program for vibrant health. Connect with Dr. Deb Kern at